Levester Charles Kelly, who police said ran a narcotics business from behind a metal desk set in a Shaw alley, pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of distributing heroin.

Kelly, known as "Mr. T" because of his haircut and burly physique, acknowledged the heroin sale yesterday to U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene. As part of a plea bargain, federal prosecutors agreed to drop four other narcotics charges against Kelly.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Tapp said Kelly, 30, of 1339 Sixth St. NW, was part of a major heroin distribution ring headed by Moshood Alatishe, a Nigerian who was arrested in the same set of drug raids in May.

The charges against Alatishe were dropped in August after a drug testing laboratory found no evidence of narcotics in the powder seized in his bedroom. Alatishe was released from jail after being held without bond for three months.

Yesterday Tapp said the white substance that Kelly sold to police informants on May 20 had been confirmed to be heroin by the Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory. Tapp said the $560 sale took place in a parking lot at Florida and Rhode Island avenues NW, several blocks from the alley behind the 900 block of O Street NW, where Tapp said Kelly regularly arranged heroin sales from behind his desk.

Kelly has been in jail since his arrest for violating probation on a previous narcotics conviction.

He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $125,000 fine on the distribution charge. Greene set sentencing for Jan. 17.